OPPO just announced that it was planning to announce a new phone soon. That's the gist of the story really. I guess the company wanted to jumpstart the CES news cycle by a couple of hours, without being ready to fully unveil all the specifics.
After receiving lots of positive feedback for its cameras on flagship devices, Oppo has decided to bring its photography experience to the mid-range. Everyone likes to take photos and Oppo wants to make it affordable without having to dig deep into your pockets for the top-of-the-line specs on all fronts. The result is the new Oppo F series, of which the F1 will be soon announced and ready to launch in January.
A new variant of the OnePlus X, model number E1000, appeared earlier this week on the website for TENAA, the Chinese regulatory agency that is roughly equivalent to the FCC in the US. This means it was approved in much the same way that the FCC certifies all cell phones, but we are lucky enough to get far more detailed information, including pictures. TENAA calls it "E1000," which pretty clearly alludes to the OnePlus X, model number E1001/1003/1005. What's different about the E1000? As far as we can tell: absolutely nothing. It may be a special edition variant for China, or it may be a slight hardware revision (i.e., physical changes to manufacturing necessitating a new model number).
A constant source of consternation among owners of OPPO devices has been the heavily customized ColorOS and especially the slow speed of Android OS updates to it. OPPO has held strong to ColorOS, owing in large part to its reported popularity in Asian markets. Today, in an effort to appease enthusiast owners, OPPO has announced an initiative to support current devices with an AOSP ROM with limited customizations.
OPPO left some clues that they would do something like this, not that it comes as a huge surprise to anyone given the long demands for it. A company rep teased big changes just a month ago in an OPPO forum thread filled with whining about software updates.
The midrange smartphone market is getting more interesting by the day, both on its cheaper lower end or in the more expensive price bracket. The latter is the case of the newly unveiled Oppo R7 and R7 Plus, which tread that thin line between upper midrange and almost-flagship status, offering a list of impressive specifications in a very decent-looking package.
Oppo takes about 8 sections in its product pages to explain why the R7 and R7 Plus are such exquisite devices, comparing their curves... whatcha talkin' 'bout Oppo? These are the flattest flattened phones that lie flatly flatting on any flat surface.
If you've got a Find 7 or Find 7a phone from OPPO and you're itching for an official Lollipop ROM, head on over to the company's user forums. A beta version of Color OS 2.1, running on top of Android 5.0 code, has been posted for you to download. At the moment this edition of the software is not available via an over-the-air update, though that should be coming soon enough.
Towards the end of 2014, Oppo released an update for the Find 5 that bumped the Jelly Bean-running device up to KitKat. It wasn't a quality piece of work, but it was something. Now we know that for the Find 5, along with the N1 and the R819, things won't get any better. No additional ColorOS updates are on the way. None of these devices will see Android Lollipop.
This news comes after a reader pointed us toward the Oppo forums, where a moderator stated that these three devices won't receive any more ColorOS updates. We've since reached out to Oppo, and today we received this short but straightforward statement:
"OPPO will not be providing a Lollipop update for the R819, N1 and the Find 5."
Remember back in the days of "dumb" phones when everyone wanted them to be as tiny as possible? Then the original RAZR hit, and it was all about thinness, even to the point of absurdity? That second trend is still going strong, but a contender for the next one is phones (and laptops and TVs and what have you) with the least amount of screen bezel possible. Behold, a new Oppo phone that gives the oddball Sharp Aquos Crystal a run for its money, at least on the left and right sides.
Even while the more corporate side of CyanogenMod makes new deals with smartphone makers and OEMs, the original "CM Team" continues to expand the ROM's lineup of officially-supported phones and tablets. Today the original Moto E (from 2014) and the Oppo N3 both get their first nightly software builds, and yes, both of them are CyanogenMod 12 (based on Android 5.0 Lollipop AOSP code). You can download and flash them now.
The Moto E is an obvious choice for a custom ROM; its rock-bottom price and relatively "clean" Android software have made it a favorite among budget-minded enthusiasts, and it doesn't feature the notifications, voice, and gesture-based extras of its big brother the Moto X (which CyanogenMod doesn't duplicate).